Fat Adaptation Timeframe?

(Steve Gibson) #1

Hi Keto Fam! This is my first progress post.

Week number 11. Very Strict. Less than 20G carbs per day. 1800-2000 calories with 70% fat minimum. No cheese or milk. Also eliminated nuts because they made me stall. Eating Eggs-Avocado Carnitas Mayo Lots of Salmon -Spinach-Kale-Celery. Coffee and MCT and Heavy Cream. Mostly organic but not 100%. So far so good. Lost 10 lbs. From 180 to 170. Felt a bit dizzy and weak for my first couple weeks and then added two teaspoons of Pink Himalayan Salt per day and that absolutely fixed me up. Very important puzzle piece for me. Gym 4 days per week. 20 minute intense weight work outs and 1 day of HIIT sprints mostly 200 yards. Feel great. Pretty good numbers so far. 5.3 A1C - 75 fasted Glucose and Ketones generally 1.0 to 2.2 on the ketomojo - I know I am in Ketosis by the way I feel. 2 meals 3x per week and I have done 2 fasts of 36 hours. I think I understand the basics of doing keto right and I am tracking and continuing to learn from all you wonderful more experienced folks.

Here is the issue: I do not think I am Fat Adapted. I do not have this glorious ability to just NOT want to snack. I cant just easily skip meals like I keep reading about. I am still hungry. Not ravenous. Better than before for sure. But the 36 hour fasts were a big deal for me. Full “white knuckle I am not eating today” If I am being a wimp tell me. I would always want to eat some carbs if that was an option. I would always want to have a snack in the middle of the day. Plus I still have about 2 inches of waistline - stubborn belly fat keeping me from my goal of 34 inch waist 165lbs just like college (I am 57 now).

When??? does the Fat Adaptation Happen? So much of the information is non-specific in this area. Literally 2 to 3 days and 2 to 3 weeks and 2 to 3 months. All the time. Can anyone tell me How Long? or What else do I need to do? It seems like seeking Enlightenment. I need specifics. I thought maybe I was insulin resistant from too many years of eating my Wheaties and having toast like I was told to. ; ) But I think my numbers indicate that I am relatively ok on insulin sensitivity.

Maybe losing hunger and cravings Never happens for some people? Is that possible? If so I will just have to accept it. I know…Keep on Ketoing Right? But is there anything more specific. How long did it take YOU to get definitively Fat Adapted.???

How can you tell when your body becomes fully fat adapted?
Ketone levels and exercise
Fat adaption
(Michael - Don't expect miracles and you won't be disappointed.) #2

You’ve been eating keto for 11 weeks. You ate SAD for 57 years. Do not expect miracles and you will not be disappointed. Stay the course and the transformation will happen. It’s different for everyone, for some quickly for others not so much. Be patient, persevere, remain optimistic. There are no other specifics. No secret decoder ring that unlocks hidden secrets. You’re in ketosis, you’re losing weight, you’re working out, you’re feeling good, you’re with understanding friends. :smirk:

(Alec) #3

My opinions (no science, just reading and n=1)

2 to 3 days… no.

2 to 3 weeks, the process is starting to happen.

2 to 3 months, you are well on your way to being fat adapted.

6 months, I think you should then be very well fat adapted.

Fat adaptation is a continuum, and takes anything from 3 to 12 mths to get to full fat adaption. My definition of being well fat adapted is being able to do a 36 hr fast quite easily without excessive hunger. From what you’ve said, you’re not there yet. My recommendation is to do a few more 36hr fasts, and you will accelerate the fat adaption process… developing your fasting muscle, and encouraging your body to get on with the adaption process.

One other thought, you mention 1800-2000 calories per day, are you eating to satiety or to a calorie target. If a calorie target it is possible you have slowed down the fat adaption process by not giving your body the energy it needs to actually do the conversion. Not sure of the science here, but a hunch. Keto rules are eat to satiety, not to some arbitrary average calories from an app.


But… we’re all different and experience things in different ways. I never had a hey presto moment where my mind was crystal clear or have done long fasts nor do I want to (the fasts that is!!) I generally go without breakfast and can run 20 miles fasted so you probably are fat adapted already. Obviously we can get more proficient at it and it also depends what your end goal is. Good luck and carry on ketoing :slight_smile:

(Michael - Don't expect miracles and you won't be disappointed.) #5

@Amanda1 That’s an excellent point, not everyone has some ‘presto moment’ when the clouds part, a blinding light breaks through and a deep voice announces, “Thou art now adapted; go forth and reap the fat of the land.”

Consider, if you will @stevegibson2000. You have eaten sub-20 grams of carbs daily for 11 weeks. You are still alive and it’s not because of a miracle. It’s because you’re burning fat. Maybe not as efficiently and effectively as you will some day, but burning it none-the-less. I agree with @Amanda1 you are already adapted well enough to survive. Soon to thrive!


Looks really good overall, i would up the calories a bit tho, 1800 alone is average (resting) bmr for men and u workout too so up it to around 2300-2400 and see how it effects ur hunger, it could be that u already are adapted but u just dont eat enough.

(Carl Keller) #7

Alec’s explanation is on point. At around two months, I absolutely knew I was fat adapted. I could go all day without eating without any ill effect and my energy levels were consistent. It was then that I could stare down any donut or delicious looking pastry with pure contempt.

(Monique) #8

Around the 3/4 month mark is when I first start noticing collective signs of fat adaptation- and they ramp up from there. Signs (for me) are:

  • increased immunity
  • decreased hunger/thoughts of food
  • reduced need for electrolyte supplementation
  • increased stamina (particularly when being active)
  • more level moods, able to deal with stress better
  • craving fat/fatty meat (not carbs)
  • better deeper sleep (less of it needed)
  • stronger satiety signalling
  • starting to feel a desire to fast every now and then
  • able to go until dinner without eating and not notice (if I’m busy)

Some of those things are evident earlier than at the 3-4 mth mark but become markedly more pronounced as time goes on.

Do any ring true for you yet @stevegibson2000?

(Scott) #9

I am 57 too. It took me about three months of eating <50g carbs. My morning runs absolutly sucked. No energy and had to walk some. Then one morning I was like what happened? I have energy now and haven’t walked since.

(Jody) #10

If fasting is your path, you also have to build a fasting muscle, that takes time. I used bone broth and tea as my “crutch” as needed to build up to my current 42 x 3. It wasn’t till 2nd week of 36x3 that thought it was easy and stopped the broth. 36 to 42x3 was easy transition. But 24 to 36 was tough!

(Ilana Rose) #11

This is completely normal even if you are fully fat adapted. Any sort of change in meal timing where you take out a time when you body is used to getting food leads to hunger signals. The difference initially IS the “not ravenous” part. The hunger is purely hormonal signaling and you have to train your body by not having snacks or meals. This does take time.

I think it took about 6-8 months of doing one meal a day before it became normal for me to go entire days without ever even thinking about food. But even now after 18 months that’s still not EVERY day. However, most days it’s barely a momentary thought here and there and I now recognize that it’s not real hunger.

Now, I’ve never transitioned to 36 hr or longer fasts because OMAD got me all the way to my goal. However, I can guarantee, because I’ve tried it, that my body throws a hunger tantrum if I don’t have my regular dinner meal. However, people like @Jody2 do regular alternate day fasting and they also will report that with training the real hunger signals drop away.

The fasting muscle takes time to build. Being fat adapted is just the necessary condition for making it easier.

(Marianne) #12

Sorry, what is this? 42 vs 36 hours, but what’s the 3. Is that a three-hour window of eating?

(Alec) #13

My interpretation of that whenever anyone posts it is 3 separate fasts lasting between 36 and 42 hrs.

(Jody) #14

Yes, sorry, it’s fasting forum speak. I do alternate day fasting, so 36 hours 3 days a week or 42 hours 3 days a week.

My schedule is this:

  • I fast Mon, Wed, Fri, meaning NO food
  • I feast on Tues, Thurs, Sat, Sun. I wait till noonish which gives me the 42 hours. I eat lunch and dinner. If you break your fast at breakfast, then it’s a 36 hour fast. This if of course assuming you are eating dinner at ~6pm, lunch at noonish.

Does that make sense?


At 11 weeks into keto I don’t think your issue is being fat adapted. Your issue is not eating enough when you are eating. You should be eating enough at meals that you aren’t hungry in between, so eat some more. If you’re going to fast, you need to eat WAAAY more than your body needs on non-fasting days, like 10%–20% more.

(Marianne) #16

Yes, thank you. I haven’t gone beyond 24 yet.

(Steve Gibson) #17

Michael- Thank you. Yes. I will keep expectations in line.

(Steve Gibson) #18

Thanks Alec - Yes. mostly eating to satiety but I will consider upping the fat. And I agree on the developing the Fasting Muscle.

(Steve Gibson) #19

Yes. Yes. Thank you.

(Steve Gibson) #20

Thanks Everyone for the helpful and educational responses. Based on this advice I have a couple of key insights:

  1. Its different for everyone.
  2. Fat adaptation is more of a process than a Lightening Strike.
  3. I need to train myself to Fast by doing more Fasts.
  4. Stay…On…Target…I think I am having Solid Progress but not Dramatic Results. I was generally low carb to start and only looking to drop 15 lbs and and inch or two waistline. So the improvements need go come incrementally.
  5. I am still looking forward to NOT being Hungry. In fact. I was going to skip breakfast but now I am really hungry for my 3 eggs and Avocado ; ) So I am going to have that right now since I have a big day ahead.

Thanks again for all your support.